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  • Reviews for Richard Conniff’s Books

    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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How Wildlife Comebacks Happen

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 30, 2013

In Wales, a red kite stoops to conquer (Photo: Mali Halls)

In Wales, a red kite stoops to conquer (Photo: Mali Halls)

News about wildlife often comes across as a litany of catastrophic decline. The startling truth, though, is that we generally succeed when we make the effort to fix a problem, or save a species.

Despite all the outrage and political posturing around the Endangered Species Act, for instance, 90 percent of the species it protects are recovering on schedule. You can see the results of that law, and other federal interventions, almost anywhere. Go to Manhattan’s Central Park, for instance, and with a little effort you can now find red-tailed hawks, sharp-shinned hawks and a peregrine falcon doing its 200-mile-an-hour killer dive to pick off a pigeon for dinner. All of these species (except the pigeons) were far less common—and the peregrines were actually endangered—until the federal government passed protective legislation in the 1970s, including a ban on the pesticide DDT. The same laws saved our pelicans, ospreys, herons, cormorants and of course our national bird, the bald eagle.

Now Europe is also struggling with the terrible specter of success at species protection. A report out last week by the Zoological Society of London and other conservation groups describes a broad recovery of iconic bird and mammal species across the continent. Gray wolves …   to read the full article, click here.


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